QUEENSBURY -- The Great Escape has decided to call off its Holiday in the Park event for 2010.
The move was characterized as a "business decision" by parks spokeswoman Rebecca Close. Great Escape Properties President Don McCoy was unavailable for comment on the issue, Close said.
The Great Escape hosted its first Holiday in the Park event in December. The amusement venue was transformed into a winter wonderland for the Christmas-themed event, with 50,000 feet of holiday lights, an ice skating rink and other attractions.
The Great Escape received $12,309 from the county's occupancy tax coffers to help promote the event.
The revenue comes from a 4 percent tax instituted in 2004 on stays at hotels, motels and inns in the county. The money is in turn used to promote events that bring tourists to the county.
When McCoy went before the county Board of Supervisors in December to request funds for the 2010 event, he said attendance at the first year's Holiday in the Park was "absolutely outstanding." Though he asked for $50,000 to help promote the second year of Holiday in the Park, the county agreed to provide $25,000. Close said the Great Escape would not receive that money now, and that the county's contribution did not play into the park's decision to cancel the event.
As recently as March, McCoy reiterated plans to have a Holiday in the Park event again in December, saying the first run was "successful."
Close said on Friday that McCoy was referring less to the financial viability of the event than he was to "the feedback and the support from the community."
She also said season ticket holders will be given an extra "bring-a-friend" pass to the Great Escape, since the season passes were marketed as including admission to the Holiday in the Park event for 2010.
The winter event employed approximately 150 people. The Great Escape Properties employ about 1,500 during the peak season.
Close said the decision to cancel the holiday event also had nothing to do with parent corporation Six Flags Inc.'s recent emergence from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. That occurred on May 3 after a protracted battle with and between investors and creditors over who would end up with ownership stakes in the reorganized company, which is now called Six Flags Entertainment Corp.
The new firm's stock will resume trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Monday.